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My Van Life: Day 60

Monday, October 18, 2021

Grants, NM – Williams, AZ

If Mercury retrograde is officially over as of today, then why do I feel like the universe was COMING for your girl on this fine Monday?? As you know, we arrived quite late last night to a random Walmart in Grants, New Mexico. We had plans to stop at this rest stop Adam had identified but unfortunately it said “permanently closed” online however a Walmart just down the road said it was “practically a truck stop” on the reviews. In other words, a welcome place for us to stay for the evening. Therefore, we joined our comrades in travel battle and posted up in the safest and surest place we know – Walmart.

I think we gained an hour back yesterday during our drive so it’s safe to say our internal clocks are going to be all out of whack this week plus it didn’t help getting in and going to sleep so late. Nevertheless I still woke up before my alarm this morning and popped into Walmart to use the restroom and walk around a bit. Upon my return to the van, I could sense something was array. The energy was palpably different. Adam didn’t say anything just gestured to the ground where our sheets were crumpled up in a ball, the bare mattress behind him, and then looked down at Coco who was at this point cowering in a corner in the front seat. Right as I left to go inside Walmart and use the bathroom myself, Coco decided she could no longer hold HER bladder and had an accident on the bed. Our LAST WEEK of Van Life. Coco has been a perfect angel up to this point and she goes and pees on the bed. COCO!!! It didn’t help that I looked down at her in disappointment and she was panting, breathing super heavily and holding her paw up at her side, not letting it touch the ground. She was clearly anxious and physically hurt which Adam was surprised at because they had just gone outside to go potty and she was perfectly fine. Well then I was falling all over myself making sure she’s okay, feeling so anxious that she was clearly in pain but nothing looked amiss and of course she can’t exactly vocalize what’s wrong with her so we just put her in her bed to rest while we tidied up.

Being that we were in a VERY small town in the middle of New Mexico, we decided it advantageous to drive to the next closest big city to take care of our laundry. Unfortunately, due to my sleeping in this morning, that didn’t leave us a whole lot of time to drive the 3 ish hours to Flagstaff before my first call of the day. Like a beacon of hope and promise in the distance, Cracker Barrel was blazing its brown and golden sign, its welcome mat if you will, so we followed the golden brick road and posted up in Cracker Barrel parking lot for the work day. There was a wind advisory all day so it was actually quite challenging to drive. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but that’s something we noticed quite early on about the van. When it comes to heavy winds, you can really feel it in this big ole vehicle.

Anyway, Cracker Barrel welcomed us with open arms as we worked and plotted out our next moves. The van also made some ODD and very concerning noises as we were driving over to Cracker Barrel so it really didn’t seem in the cards for us to do a whole lot of anything today. In fact, I can’t lie I felt like this was the universe’s way of saying “okay, we’re done. Van Life is coming to a close.”

At the end of the work day we finished the drive to Flagstaff where the temps continued to drop and the wind continued to roar. By the time we landed at the local laundromat it was 50 degrees! I think the low tonight is 28. I almost can’t even believe less than a week ago we were sweating our faces off in Texas and now fast forward just a handful of days, here we are, sleeping with the next day’s clothes in the bed so they don’t freeze in the overnight chill.

It was a successful visit to the laundromat, we decided to hold off on the oversized bag of dirty clothes calling our name knowing we’ll be home in the next few days and instead focused on the task at hand, cleaning our bed sheets and my stuffed friend that unfortunately got caught in Coco's crossfires. We ate dinner in the parking lot and made sure Coco did her nighttime potties (not making that mistake again) before driving about 45 minutes to our destination for the evening in Williams, AZ, according to the weather app. Also, after about an hour of being very dramatic and feverishly licking her paws, not being able to put weight on her front paw, Coco was perfectly fine. We're led to believe that she put on a show knowing she was a bad girl this morning so she tried to counteract that, shall we say, "incident" by making us feel sorry for her. That dog. She's a smart cookie I'll give it to her.

I do have to mention that upon arriving to our destination this evening I told Adam Coco should probably go outside one more time just to be sure. Better safe than sorry, am I right? He put her leash on and they marched out into the cold but within 60 seconds he came barging back through the door, carrying Coco and slamming the slider behind him. I was like “that was fast,” to which he responded that something was running around outside. GREATTTTT. We’re in the middle of nowhere Arizona (there are lots of other RVs around though don’t worry), it’s pitch black, 10pm at night and there’s something RUNNING around. Once in the safety of the van we both ran up to the front window to survey the scene and immediately this medium sized black blob comes crawling toward the van – a wild PIG! He said warthog but then we laughed and said no it’s a wild pig or boar or something?! Remind me never to go outside here...

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